I read in my teacher's autobiography but I do not understand its meaning or how it is used. Here is the sentence: >사실 이번 달 초 약 2주간 시간을 내어 휴가 겸 한국을 다녀왔다. I searched Google translate, Collins English/Korean dictionary and Minjung's English-Korean & Korean-English Dictionary.

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겸 is a bound noun indicating doubling as something in addition to original purpose. It is related to the verb 겸하다 which has the same meaning. So you can say something like 아침을 겸한 점심 (lunch that also serves as breakfast = brunch), which is usually shortened to 아침 겸 점심.

It can be used after a noun or a verb form -(으)ㄹ/ㄴ or -는. In both case, it means something doubles up as another in purpose or utility.

  • 휴가 겸 한국을 다녀왔다 = Went to Korea partly as a vacation too. (This is equivalent to 휴가를 겸해서 한국을 다녀왔다, but shorter)

  • 책상 겸 식탁 = 책상을 겸한 식탁 = a dining table doubling as a study table.

  • 휴가도 갈 겸 한국을 다녀왔다 = went to Korea, and took vacation while there (using verb form 갈)

  • 친구도 만나고 책도 살 겸 (해서) 시내로 나갔다 = I went to the city to see my friend and also to buy a book.

  • 친구도 만날 겸 책도 살 겸 (해서) 시내로 나갔다 = same (repeating 겸 multiple times like this is also common)

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